Patient-Centered Quality Measures in Kidney Care

Advancing Kidney Health with NKF's KDOQI Quality Measure Work

In the 25 years since KDOQI published the first evidence-based guidelines for dialysis care, NKF has employed many strategies to promote the implementation of best clinical practice at all stages of chronic kidney disease. It is only when guidelines are understood and followed by health care practitioners that peoples’ health outcomes can be expected to improve. 
Quality measures, when adopted by payers and health systems, are another powerful tool to promote evidence-based care. In 2022, KDOQI began a new Quality Measurement initiative, with three key objectives:
  • To increase implementation of evidence-based guidelines for people with kidney disease;
  • To focus attention on patients’ priorities in improving health outcomes;
  • To work with CMS and CMMI on quality measures that allow for individualization of care
With the guidance and support of a new Quality Measurement Committee, composed of leading experts in the field, our goal is to align our KDOQI efforts with a robust quality strategy. This strategy involves formulating consensus recommendations, collaborating with key stakeholders, and advocating for priority kidney disease and transplant measures.
In September 2022, KDOQI convened an array of kidney community stakeholders for a Workshop on Patient-Centered Quality Measures for Dialysis Care. The workshop was designed to address critical questions that had been identified as pivotal for elevating the quality of dialysis care. Participants delved into inquiries such as identifying outcomes of utmost importance to patients and their care partners, integrating social determinants of health into quality measures, effectively incorporating individualized care into population-level quality programs, and devising optimal strategies for collecting robust patient-reported outcome data. Current metrics, while valuable, often neglect patient preferences and fail to embrace the diversity of individual patient goals and priorities. The participants endorsed a more encompassing quality system that not only captures easily quantifiable data but also resonates deeply with patients' life aspirations, while addressing social risk factors and promoting personalized care. 
In essence, the NKF's KDOQI Quality Measure Work is steering the kidney healthcare ecosystem toward a future where quality measurement evolves from a mere metric to a powerful tool for transformative change. By placing patients and their unique journeys at the forefront, NKF is championing an era of personalized, comprehensive, and equitable kidney care.